Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith

Contact Details

Emmanuel College


When and where did you initially develop an interest in the history of the crusades and/or the Latin East?

Who or what sparked your enthusiasm for the subject?



Please provide details of your Higher Education, including dates, institution(s) and the name(s) of your research supervisors.

Eton College
Trinity College, Cambridge BA (1960); MA (1964); PhD (1964); LittD (2001)

Career History

Please provide details of your academic career history, including confirmation of your current institutional affiliation and contact details.

Department of Medieval History, University of St Andrews
Assistant Lecturer  1964-5
Lecturer  1966-72 
Faculty of History, University of Cambridge
Assistant Lecturer  1972-5
Lecturer  1975-8
Queens’ College, Cambridge  
Fellow  1972-8 
Royal Holloway University of London  
Professor of History  1978-94
Faculties of History and Divinity, University of Cambridge
Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History  1994-2005
Emmanuel College, Cambridge  
Fellow  1994-2005
Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East
Founder Member  1980
Acting Secretary  1980-2
President  1987-95

Doctoral Research Students supervised

  • St Andrews: Dr Bruce Beebe, Dr Joyce McLellan, Professor Peter Edbury (Professor Edbury’s official supervisor was Professor LH Butler) 
  • Cambridge: Professor Norman Housley, Dr Elizabeth Siberry, Dr Michael Lower, Dr Gregory O'Malley, Dr Judith Bronstein, Dr Cassandra Chideock, Dr Marwan Nader, Dr Julie Taylor, Dr Caroline Smith, Dr Iben Fonnesberg Schmidt, Dr Rebecca Rist, Dr Nicholas Paul, Dr William Purkis, Dr Jochen Schenk, Dr Susanna Throop
  • London: Dr Steven Tibble, Dr Christopher Marshall, Dr Peter Pattinson, Dr Christoph Maier, Professor Marcus Bull, Professor Jonathan Phillips, Dr Claire Dutton, Dr Nicholas Coureas, Dr Thomas Asbridge, Dr Aphrodite Papayianni
  • Other universities (in the USA - as adviser): Dr Christopher Libertini, Dr Deborah Gerish, Dr Jennifer Price, Dr Myra Struckmeyer

Influences and Methodologies

What ideas and/or methodologies have informed your approach to your research?


Research Outlook

What do you consider to be the most important avenues for future research in the field of crusader studies?


Research Output

Please provide details of your research output, including publications and other media as appropriate.

I began my career with the study of a military order and then moved in the late 1960s and early 1970s to the political and constitutional history of the kingdom of Jerusalem. In the mid 1970s my interests turned to the theory of crusading, which involved me in theology and canon law, and the rôle of the popes as preachers. This led to a concern with the responses of lay men and women to ideas of crusading. I have now returned to the history of the military orders.

Publications (Books and Articles) by year:


The Knights of St John in Jerusalem and Cyprus, c 1050-1310 London (Macmillan), 1967; repr Palgrave, 2002.

‘The care of the sick in the twelfth-century Order of St John’ (Pamphlet - Glasgow St John Association), 1967


‘The Templars and the castle of Tortosa in Syria: an unknown document concerning the acquisition of the fortress’, English Historical Review 84 (1969), pp 278-88.


Ayyubids, Mamlukes and Crusaders. Selections from the Tarikh al-Duwal wa'l Muluk of Ibn al-Furat (with U. and M.C.Lyons), 2 vols Cambridge (Heffer), 1971.

‘A note on confraternities in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem’, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research 44 (1971), pp 301-8.

‘The Assise sur la ligece and the Commune of Acre’, Traditio 27 (1971), pp 179-204.


‘Some lesser officials in Latin Syria’, English Historical Review 87 (1972), pp 1-26.


The Feudal Nobility and the Kingdom of Jerusalem, 1174-1277 London (Macmillan), 1973, repr. Palgrave 2002

‘Government in Latin Syria and the Commercial Privileges of Foreign Merchants’, Relations between East and West in the Middle Ages, ed D.Baker, Edinburgh (University Press), 1973, pp 109-32.


‘The Order of St John in Scotland’ (with p H.R. Mackay) (Pamphlet - Edinburgh Museums Dept), 1976


What were the crusades? London (Macmillan), 1977; 2nd edition London (Macmillan), 1992, 3rd edition, Basingstoke (Palgrave), 2002. Translated as Wozu Heilige Kriege? Berlin (Wagenbach), 2003.

‘Akkon’; ‘Armenien: Das armenische Königreich in Kilikien’; ‘Assise sur la ligece’; ‘Baron: Königreich Jerusalem’; ‘Bethlehem’; ‘Bohemond I von Tarant’; ‘Burg: Lateinischer Königreich’; 'Burger: ‘Lateinischer Osten’; ‘Chronik: Kreuzzüge und Lateinischer Osten’; ‘Gaston’; ‘Geoffroi de Sergines’; ‘Gottfried von Bouillon: Auf dem I. Kreuzzug’; ‘Jerusalem. Königreich und Lateinisches Patriarchat’; ‘Johann von Ibelin, Graf von Jaffa’; ‘Johann von Ibelin, Herr von Beirut’; ‘Johanniter’; ‘Josselin I’; ‘Josselin II’; ‘Josselin III’; ‘Königtum. Jerusalem’; ‘Kreuzzüge’; ‘Leo I (II), Herr und König von Kilikisch-Armenien’; ‘Leo II (III), König von Kilikisch-Armenien’, in Lexikon des Mittelalters, Munich (Artemis), 1977-99.

‘The survival in Latin Palestine of Muslim administration’, The Eastern Mediterranean Lands in the Period of the Crusades, ed p M. Holt, Warminster (Aris and Phillips), 1977, pp 9-22.


‘Latin titular Bishops in Palestine and Syria, 1137-1291’, Catholic Historical Review 64 (1978), pp 1-15.

‘The Templars and the Teutonic Knights in Cilician Armenia’, The Cilician Kingdom of Armenia, ed T.S.R. Boase, Edinburgh (Scottish Academic Press), 1978, pp 92-117.

‘Peace never established: the case of the Kingdom of Jerusalem’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, ser.5, 28 (1978), pp 87-102.


‘The title of Godfrey of Bouillon’, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research 52 (1979), pp 83-6.


‘An Approach to Crusading Ethics’, Reading Medieval Studies 6 (1980), pp 3-19.

‘Crusading as an act of love’, History 65 (1980), pp 177-92. Repr. In Thomas F Madden, The

crusades: the essential readings, Oxford (Blackwell, 2002); Constance H. Berman, Medieval religion. New approaches, London (Routledge, 2005).


The Crusades: Idea and Reality, 1095-1274 (with L.Riley-Smith), London (Edward Arnold), 1981.


‘Reading History: The Crusades’, History Today 32 (1982), pp 48-9.

‘The First Crusade and St Peter’, Outremer, ed B.Z. Kedar, H.E. Mayer and R.C. Smail, Jerusalem (Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi Institute), 1982, pp 41-63.

The Franciscans and the Parish of Ascot, 1887-1980 (Pamphlet - Ascot RC parish), 1982


‘The motives of the earliest crusaders and the settlement of Latin Palestine’, English Historical Review 98 (1983), pp 721-36.

‘Corrado, marchese di Monferrato’, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani 29 (1983), pp 381-8.


‘Death on the First Crusade’, The End of Strife, ed D.M. Loades, Edinburgh (Clark), 1984, pp 14-31.

‘The First Crusade and the Persecution of the Jews’, Studies in Church History 21 (1984), pp 51-72.


‘Further thoughts on Baldwin II's établissement on the confiscation of fiefs’, Crusade and Settlement, ed p W.Edbury, Cardiff (University of Wales Press), 1985, pp 176-80.


The First Crusade and the Idea of Crusading  London and Philadelphia (Athlone/University of Pennsylvania Press), 1986 (paperback US 1990, UK 1993).

‘The Venetian Crusade of 1122-1124’, I Communi Italiani nel regno crociato di Gerusalemme, ed G. Airaldi and B.Z. Kedar, Genoa (University of Genoa), 1986, pp 337-50.


The Crusades: A Short History London and New Haven (Athlone/ Yale University Press), 1987 (also in paperback). Translated as Les Croisades Paris (Pygmalion), 1990; and as Breve Storia delle Crociate Milan (Oscar Mondadori) 1994; 2nd ed, as The Crusades. A History, London and New Haven (Continuum/ Yale University Press), 2005.


‘The Latin Clergy and the Settlement of Palestine and Syria, 1098-1100’, Catholic Historical Review 74 (1988), pp 539-57.


‘Preface’, Chronicles of the Crusades, ed E.Hallam, London (Weidenfeld and Nicolson), 1989, pp 11-14.


‘Kreuzzüge’, Theologische Realenzyklopädie, Berlin (de Gruyter), 20 (1990), pp 1-10.

‘Application of Theology to Current Affairs: Memorial Sermons on the Dead of Mansurah and on Innocent IV’(with D.L.d'Avray and p Cole), Historical Research 63 (1990), pp 227-47.

‘The Motivation of the Earliest Crusaders’, St John Historical Society Proceedings 3 (1990-91), pp 1-12.

‘The Crusades, or what happened after Runciman’, St John Historical Society Proceedings 3 (1990-91), pp 45-54.


The Atlas of the Crusades (editor) London and New York (Times Books/ Facts on File), 1991. Translated as Grosser Bildatlas der Kreuzzüge Freiburg, Basel and Vienna (Herder), 1992; and as Atlas des croisades Paris (Editions Autremont), 1996.


‘Family Traditions and Participation in the Second Crusade’, The Second Crusade and the Cistercians, ed M.Gervers, New York (St Martin's Press) 1992, pp 101-9


‘History, the Crusades and the Latin East, 1095-1204: A Personal View’, Crusaders and Muslims in Twelfth-Century Syria, ed M.Shatzmiller, Leiden (Brill) 1993, pp 1-17.

‘Present and Past’, The Past and the Present, Problems of Understanding, ed A.Hegarty, Oxford (Grandpont House) 1993, pp 75-92.


‘The Order of St John in England, 1827-1858’, The Military Orders: Fighting for the Faith and Caring for the Sick, ed M.Barber, Aldershot (Variorum) 1994, pp 121-38.


The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades (editor) Oxford (Oxford University Press), 1995 (paperback 1997). Now reissued as The Oxford History of the Crusades (paperback, 1999). Translated into Russian Moscow (Kron-Press), 1998, German Frankfurt (Campus Verlag), 1999 and Polish Warsaw (Vocatio), 2000.

Cyprus and the Crusades (editor, with N.Coureas) Nicosia (Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East and Cyprus Research Centre), 1995.

‘The Crusading Movement and Historians’; ‘The State of Mind of Crusaders to the East, 1095-1300’; and ‘Revival and Survival’, Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades (see above), pp 1-12, 66-90, 386-91.

‘The Crusading Heritage of Guy and Aimery of Lusignan’, Cyprus and the Crusades (see above), pp 31-45.

‘Reinterpreting the Crusades’, The Economist 137 no 7946 (December 1995), pp 37-41.

‘First Crusaders to the East and the Costs of Crusading’, Cross Cultural Convergences in the Crusader Period, ed M.Goodich, S.Menache and S.Schein, New York (Peter Lang) 1995, pp 237-57.


‘Preface’, Autour de la Première Croisade, ed M.Balard, Paris (Publications de la Sorbonne) 1996, pp 5-6.


Montjoie. Studies in Crusade History in Honour of Hans Eberhard Mayer (editor, with B.Z.Kedar and R.Hiestand) Aldershot (Variorum), 1997.

The First Crusaders, 1095-1131 Cambridge (Cambridge University Press), 1997

‘L“idea” della prima crociata nei documenti’, Le Crociate. L'Oriente e l'Occidente da Urbano II a San Luigi 1096-1270, ed M.Rey-Delqué, Milan (Electa) 1997 (tr. as ‘L“idéé” de croisade dans les chartes de la première croisade’, Les croisades. L'orient et l'occident d'Urbain II à Saint Louis 1096-1270), pp 130-2.

‘King Fulk of Jerusalem and “the Sultan of Babylon”’, Montjoie. Studies in Crusade History in Honour of Hans Eberhard Mayer, ed B.Z.Kedar, J.S.C.Riley-Smith and R.Hiestand, Aldershot (Variorum) 1997, pp 55-66.

‘Introduction’, The First Crusade. Origins and impact, ed J.Phillips, Manchester (Manchester University Press) 1997, pp 1-4.

‘Families, Crusades and Settlement in the Latin East, 1102-1131’, Die Kreuzfahrerstaaten als multikulturelle Gesellschaft, ed H.E.Mayer, Munich (Oldenbourg), 1997, pp 1-12.

‘The Idea of Crusading in the Charters of Early Crusaders, 1095-1102’, Le Concile de Clermont de 1095 et l'Appel à la Croisade. Actes du Colloque Universitaire International de Clermont-Ferrand (23-25 Juin 1995) organisé et publié avec le concours du Conseil Régional d'Auvergne (Collection de l'école française de Rome 236), Rome (Ecole française de Rome), 1997, pp 155-66.

‘Erdmann and the Historiography of the Crusades, 1935-1995’, La primera cruzada, novocientos anos después: el concilio de Clermont y los origines del movimiento cruzado, ed L.Garcia-Guijarro Ramos, Madrid (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid), 1997, pp 17-29.


‘Raymond IV of St Gilles, Achard of Arles and the conquest of Lebanon’, The Crusades and their Sources. Essays presented to Bernard Hamilton, ed J.France and W.G.Zajac, Aldershot (Ashgate), 1998, pp 1-8.

‘Introduction’, The Military Orders. Volume 2. Welfare and Warfare, ed H.Nicholson, Aldershot (Ashgate), 1998, pp xxv-xxviii.


Hospitallers. The History of the Order of St John London (The Hambledon Press), 1999 (also in paperback)

‘The Crusades’, First Things (October 1999)

‘900 Years of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta’, History Today 49 (November 1999), pp 2-3.

‘War against the infidels - and other Christians’, Church Times 7137 (26 November 1999), pp 16-17.


Al seguito delle Crociate Rome (Di Renzo: Dialoghi – Uomo e Società), 2000


Dei gesta per Francos. Etudes sur les croisades dédiées à Jean Richard (editor, with M.Balard and B.Z.Kedar) Aldershot (Ashgate), 2001

‘Guy of Lusignan, the Hospitallers and the Gates of Acre’, Dei gesta per Francos.Etudes sur les croisades dédiées à Jean Richard, ed M.Balard, B.Z.Kedar and J.Riley-Smith, Aldershot (Ashgate), 2001, pp 111-15.

‘The crusading movement’, War, Peace and World Orders in European History, ed A.V.Hartmann and B. Heuser, London and New York (Routledge), 2001, pp 127-40.

‘Why apologising for the crusades is futile’, The Catholic Herald 5 October 2001, p 6.


‘The Origins of the Commandery in the Temple and the Hospital’, La Commanderie. Institution des ordres militaires dans l'Occident médiéval, ed A. Luttrell and L. Pressouyre, Paris (CTHS), 2002, pp 9-18.

‘Christian Violence and the Crusades’, Religious Violence between Christians and Jews. Medieval Roots, Modern Perspectives, ed A Sapir Abulafia, Basingstoke (Palgrave), 2002, pp 3-20.

‘Religious Violence’, Religious Violence between Christians and Jews. Medieval Roots, Modern Perspectives, ed A Sapir Abulafia, Basingstoke (Palgrave), 2002, pp 184-7.

‘Government and the indigenous in the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem’, Medieval Frontiers: Concepts and Practices, ed D. Abulafia and N. Berend, Aldershot (Ashgate), 2002, pp 121-31.

‘Religious Authority’, The Future of the Past. Big Questions in History, ed p Martland, London (Pimlico), 2002, pp 1-15.

‘Hospitaller Spirituality in the Middle Ages’, Journal of Spirituality 2: Toward a Spirituality of Communion, Rome (Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta), 2002, pp 17-23.

‘The Politics of War: France and the Holy Land’, The Book of Kings. Art, War, and the Morgan Library’s Medieval Picture Bible, ed William Noel and Daniel Weiss, London (The Walters Art Museum and Third Millenium Publishing), 2002, pp 70-81.


Crusades, vols 1, 2 (2002, 2003) (editor with Benjamin Z. Kedar), Aldershot (Ashgate), 2003.

‘Casualties and the Number of Knights on the First Crusade’, Crusades 1 (2002), pp 13-28.

‘Islam and the Crusades in History and Imagination, 8 November 1898 – 11 September 2001’, Crusades 2 (2003), pp 151-67.


Crusades, vol 3 (2004) (editor with Benjamin Z. Kedar), Aldershot (Ashgate), 2004

‘Der Aufruf von Clermont und seine Folgen’, Die Kreuzzüge, ed H.-J. Kotzur, B. Klein and W. Wilhelmy, Mainz am Rhein (Verlag Philipp von Zabern), 2004, pp 51-63.

‘The Crown of France and Acre, 1254-1291’, France and the Holy Land, ed D. H.  Weiss and L. Mahoney, Baltimore and London (The Johns Hopkins University Press), 2004, pp 45-62.

The New Cambridge Medieval History 4, 2 vols (editor, with D. Luscombe), Cambridge (Cambridge University Press), 2004.

‘Were the Templars Guilty?’, The Medieval Crusade, ed S J. Ridyard, Woodbridge (Boydell), 2004, pp 107-24 .

‘The Structures of the Orders of the Temple and the Hospital in c 1291’, The Medieval Crusade, ed S J. Ridyard, Woodbridge (Boydell), 2004, pp 125-43.

‘Further thoughts on the layout of the Hospital in Acre’, Chemins d’outre-mer. Études sur la Méditerranée médiévale offertes à Michel Balard, ed Damien Coulon, Catherine Otten-Froux, Paule Pagès and Dominique Valérien, 2 vols., Paris (Sorbonne), 2004, 2, pp 753-64.


‘Preface’, Carmel Cassar and Anthony Calleja, The Hospitaller Order of St John in Malta 1530-1798, Valletta (Mediterranean Cultural Encounters), 2005, p 5.

‘The military-religious orders. Their history and continuing relevance”, Traditio Melitensis 7 (2005), pp 31-39.

‘Gründung und Verwaltung der lateinischen Siedlungen in der Levante’, Saladin und die Keuzfahrer, ed Alfried Wieczorek, Mamoun Fansa and Harald Meller, Mainz am Rhein (Philipp von Zabern), 2005, pp 47-59.

‘Toward an Understanding of the Fourth Crusade as an Institution’, Urbs Capta, ed Angeliki Laiou, Paris (Realités Byzantines 10, Lethielleux), 2005, pp 71-87.

Crusades vol 4 (2005) (editor with Benjamin Z. Kedar), Aldershot (Ashgate), 2005

‘De Kruistocht: een heilige oorlog?’, De Kruistochten, Utrecht (Museum Catharijneconvent), 205, pp 31-51


The crusades CTS

Crusades vol 5 (2006) (editor with Benjamin Z. Kedar), Aldershot (Ashgate), 2006


‘The Military Orders and the East, 1149-1291’, Knighthhoods of Christ. Essays on the History of the Crusades and the Knights Templar, Presented to Malcolm Barber, ed N. Housley, Aldershot (Ashgate, 2007), pp 137-49.